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Microlearning and Moodle, part 3

Microlearning and chains.

Continuing my reflection on Microlearning.

And taking the next section of the Wikipedia definition…

Microlearning can also be understood as a process of subsequent, “short” learning activities, i.e. learning through interaction with micro-content objects in small timeframes. In this case, the design, selection, feedback and pacing of repeated or otherwise “chained” microlearning tasks comes into view.

As usual I want to break this down into the key parts…

  • A process of short learning activities
  • Small timeframes
  • Feedback and pacing
  • Repeated or chained tasks


Well, I think we addressed this last post. But basically if it’s 15 minutes long it’s not really microlearning. Remember my “Coffee test”?  Can it be completed while I’m waiting at the coffee shop for my long black to be made?

Small timeframes

Yes. I might do my microlearning everyday – every time I am at the coffee shop.

Feedback and pacing

Hmmmm, I would argue that feedback is often a key part of any learning experience, and it’s not unique or even more important in microlearning than any other type of learning.

Pacing however is interesting, because if we are designing microlearning experiences, then we have to understand the pace that information might be presented and consumed at. It’s certainly going to be faster paced than sitting in a formal class having group discussions right?

With microlearning we might want to be in, through, and out quite quickly.

Repeated or chained tasks

I think these are different.

Repeated might mean we push out a quiz about the symbols used on the period table. They could be randomly selected. But chained might mean we release them in atomic order. Or it might mean we build knowledge in micro-chunks … start with the element symbol, then the atomic weight, then the properties, and so on. This would be using tint microlearning snippets to build a larger piece of knowledge.

With Moodle a teacher use a Forum to post these micro-chunks, and each day students can read them (using the forum to ask questions if required). Could a Glossary be used? Maybe, but not in a timed way, although learners could “dip in and out” in a more organic way.  So the teacher might say “Using the glossary activity find an element that begins with B, and memorise it’s atomic weight.”

A chain could be having a micro quiz at the end of the week, term, semester, to test this knowledge.

I like the chaining idea.

Otherwise I feel microlearning could just be microc-ontent, or micro-facts, and I think we can do more than that?

Stuart Mealor
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Stuart Mealor

Stuart is interested in all things e-learning, with specific interests in Moodle, e-learning strategy, and business development. His experience in education over 30 years, MBA in International Business, and knowledge of e-learning systems implementation, together with graphic design background, give him a unique skill set for e-learning projects.

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